Saving Face

a hand full of rain

I woke this morning to a roll of thunder and the smell of rain. What a gift! Maybe because I’ve been out several mornings lately, moving the sprinkler head from one corner of the yard to another, and rain gives me a day off.

I felt comforted and secure, here inside the house. It’s a left-over feeling, I’m sure, from childhood. On the farm, we still had to do morning chores, but then I was free. I could sit in my room and read, watch out the window, dream. That’s what’s offered today: we are both finished with teaching for the week, Cliff can sleep late, my calendar is empty, and I can sit and dream in the rain’s whisper.

I’m grateful for these times of gentleness whenever and however they arrive, times of not having to push – or stumble, when the to-do list, while never empty, is absent of flashing red lights and checkmarks.

I’m working on a new book, and yesterday’s writing centered on a market in Durango, Mexico, and its “magic corner” as I named it, a corner of herbs and incense and votive candles. A tree trunk guarded the corner in Durango.

About four feet tall, the sentinel stood rubbed and sanded smooth. Near the bottom, a face looked up from where a sculptor’s hand had uncovered expression in the natural creases,  carved folds into a mantle of beard.

What would it be like to have a face uncovered, I wondered? Not the face shown to the world or to lovers or the office, but the one molded to who we really are? What lies behind a face?

The gift of showing a true face comes from figuring out who we are, perhaps, and in part from not worrying so much about who we are. Or at least that’s what it seems this morning, dreaming out the window as I listen to the susurrus of rain through tree branches. And at base, I guess, I’m still the same kid as on the farm, grateful for time off, grinning at the rain. And I thought I’d changed.

Where does your face come from? What does the kid see who looks out of your eyes?


10 thoughts on “Saving Face

  1. my favorite rain story: at the river we could see the the storms build, and watch the line of rain approach from 2 miles away. it was always an event the whole family enjoyed watching. one afternoon my uncle, my dad and i watched a big one blow across the river, high winds dark and rumbling. our neighbor had a large fishing boat on a pole 100 yards out. in that storm the boat was really pulling against that pole. dad called walter and expressed worry. “naw i put that pole in, i believe she’ll hold” the second call, “walter! the pole is bent all the way under water” you could just see a rope extending into the water. the boat was thrashing wildly in the storm. “thanks , but i believe she;ll hold”. the next call “walter your boat is going down the river” his boat was called “dreamboat” it was his prize possession. his response to the third call was a very relaxed “i be damned” i was always impressed with his cool in that situation. there is a lot of zen in those watermen

  2. Very nice post, Janet. Whenever I wake up at night, put my feet down on the floor and find they land on the dog, I know it must be storming outside and she, whom we sometimes call, “Scaredy Dog,” has come in to be close to her human pack. I don’t remember my relationship to rain as a child, but I spent many happy hours reading so some of them must have been during the rain. I do love reading in my hammock on our porch while it rains.

    And thanks for using the word susurrus. What a great word! Hugs,

  3. I also found some respite, albeit far too brief, in this morning’s rain. Our morning coffee on the front porch was a wee bit quieter and I found myself lingering over my daily meditation readings.
    My reflection on childhood rainy days was an interesting braid of reading the words in the picture books I had always enjoyed, allowing myself to drift off to sleep in a word-infused nap and once again absorbing the ancient scent of rain drops rolling down the weeping willow branches of my secret reading cave.
    ahhhhhhh…but then the rain rolled away and the sun demanded those poor pansies be transplanted so sweet new petunias can tumble down the stairway flower pots.

  4. I enjoyed your musings today Janet! Thank you for giving me something to muse about too!

    I love the rain too!


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